The independence day celebration was over and so work had to resume. The traffic on the first day of work after a public holiday is usually not from this planet just the ideal way of welcoming us back from the long break (can every other day be a public holiday) ? .

As a sharp Lagos babe,I quickly boarded a bike (okada) with this man to beat the traffic .You know how it works,we get to split the bike fare amongst ourselves. On our way going, we noticed people were gathered at a particular spot. An accident had occurred , 2 cars had bashed themselves . I just said thank God I am on a bike ,we would definitely maneuver our way through the crowd but alas,the unthinkable happened!

My bike-mate just halted the ride and jumped down. At first I thought probably his phone was snatched from his pocket or maybe one leg of his shoe had dropped ,but no this man got down from the bike to settle the quarrel that doesn’t concern him!!

After I waited for him to return for about 5 minutes and he wasn’t forthcoming,I decided to get down from the bike to continue my journey, the day is still too young for someone to waste for me. I tried getting another bike,but all effort proved abortive. I was left with no other option than wait for this time-wasting bike.

My Lord, how long was would I have to wait,this is definitely nonsense. I was irritated ,I was angry, I shouted severally but my voice was infinite decimal to the noise that came from the scene .When I could no longer shout, I just accepted my fate and kept quiet. No sooner than I had stopped complaining,that this peace -making guy came back. Oga, you have wasted my precious time this morning ,I have work to get to if you don’t. And all he could say was – Madam I was doing my job.

Gosh…, doing your Job wasting my time? For a second I wondered if he was an army official,but he didn’t have uniform on.He continued his talk what if the drivers had killed themselves while arguing, what if a riot had ensued, what if the accident was more than this? I wouldn’t have been at peace with myself.
In my mind I was like ki lo kan mi (what’s my business) .Though his point was valid I didn’t want to admit because all I cared about right there and then was how to get to the office before resumption time.

As I got to work, I couldn’t take my mind off what the guy had said. He demonstrated what it meant to be truly patriotic.
I know myself so well not to drop in the middle of the road to end a fight but my heart pricked me about the conversation I had on Independence day with a friend of mine. I told her the greatest problem I see in Nigeria is lack of a “CORPORATE VISION” . I said, Nigerians only have the “me,myself and I mentality”

But here was I demonstrating the same attitude I condemned few days ago. I had even recited Nigeria’s motto -“Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress” during a conference I attended for the celebration , but it just became so obvious to me that I merely recited it .

I may not be so politically inclined, but I know Nigeria’s Independence from the British rule wasn’t for fun,it was for us to work together and develop our Nation,it was for us to lead and live in harmony, with each one of us promoting unity, peace and celebrating our rich cultures.

I have decided to change my orientation from just sitting and condemning all the ills in country , but contributing my own quota to fixing things.

I may not be the of governor of my state today to fix the all the bad roads, but I can do well not to drop an empty satchel of pure water on the floor to pollute the environment, I believe it starts with as little as that.

The Nigeria we so desire to see won’t come by magic, it will be a collective effort of patriotic citizens working together towards a common goal.

You playing your part and me doing same because Nigeria is you,Nigeria is me

Happy Independence celebration.

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Joyce Olawunmi


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  • Its as simple as that if only we can take away the me,myself and i mentality things would be different, it begins with me and you from our day to day activities. Someone rightly said Nigeria can only be built by Nigerians not a Nigerian meaning we all have roles to play. Nice one keep it up

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